Conception Bay Newfoundland
(inc. 1975; pop. 1981, 362). Harbour Grace South, also known as Southside or Harbour Grace (Southside), is a small community situated along the road which skirts the south side of the harbour of Harbour Grace qv. Although the residents have considered their community as separate from the larger town, it developed as part of the business community that also included Riverhead, Harbour Grace. Southside fishermen dealt with Punton and Munn, John Munn and Company, Rutherford, Ridley and other merchants on the north side of the harbour; they sailed on fishing, sealing and whaling vessels owned by these merchants, and had all their business dealings with them.
Although Southside was the smaller community, it developed at about the same rate as Harbour Grace. In 1837, after Harbour Grace residents petitioned the Newfoundland Government for funds for road construction, Southside was provided easier overland access to Harbour Grace, and the establishment of a ferry service in 1852 provided a still faster link to the business district.
In 1843 the Newfoundland School Society constructed a one-room school in Harbour Grace South which was then taken over by the Church of England's Colonial and Continental Church Society. By 1859 teacher John Martin was being paid £50 to instruct fifty students in various levels of Arithmetic, Reading and Writing. By 1880 the community had two schools with a total of ninety students, fifty in the Church of England school and forty attending a Methodist (later United Church) school. By the early 1930s, however, attendance had so declined that the United Church school was phased out and all the children began attending classes in the Church of England school. This building was used until the early 1960s; thereafter students were bussed to the larger schools in Harbour Grace. St. Peter's Church of England (later Anglican) Church was consecrated in 1873 and was still being used in 1983. Aside from church and school facilities, however, the residents have availed of services offered in Harbour Grace.
From the early Nineteenth Century to 1935 Harbour Grace South was included as part of Harbour Grace proper for census-taking purposes. The 1935 Census, however, shows Southside with a population of 454, of whom 252 belonged to the Church of England, 142 to the Roman Catholic Church, and sixty to the Methodist Church. Harbour Grace South was a fishing community with most of its fishermen reportedly prosecuting the Labrador cod fishery and the whale hunt, sailing on vessels owned by Harbour Grace businessmen. Fishing for salmon, herring and inshore cod was also pursued from motor boats and dories and the residents kept poultry and cattle and raised vegetables; milk, butter, eggs and some vegetables were sold, but the bulk of the produce was for home use. The same held true in 1945 when the Census count showed a population of 339 people. The number of inshore fishermen had increased, however, and the range of livestock had broadened to include pigs, sheep and goats, thus expanding the number of marketable products.
The population of Southside declined as that of Harbour Grace declined. By
1961 the population had dropped to 281 and by 1966 only 219 people lived
there. However, as the fish-catching and processing industries recuperated,
following the low experienced from the 1940s to the 1960s, and other small
industries started in the area, the population began to grow again, increasing
to 399 in 1971 and thereafter remaining fairly stable. In 1983 residents
worked in their own community, Harbour Grace, Carbonear and other large
Conception Bay towns or St. John's. Foodstuffs, fuel and other supplies were
purchased at those centres as well. Following incorporation in 1975, the
community council began providing various services including garbage
collection and volunteer fire-fighting.
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